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Ever wanted to send a drink to that cute guy or gal in the bar but felt like you needed technology to hold your hand? Now there’s an app for that.
BarEye is a new app that buys, sends, and receives drinks on your iPhone or Android device. You use the app to “check in” to the bar to see who else is there, and you can send drinks to others that are checked in. Or you can simply send drinks to Facebook friends that aren’t even near you.
BarEye is opening in five major cities today: New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, and Austin. During the past year, BarEye’s designers have been performing a pilot test in Tallahassee, Fla. The company signed up 17 bars in Tallahassee and had 10,000 app downloads and more than 6,000 drinks bought. That’s not exactly stellar performance, but being available in much larger markets will likely help.
One of BarEye’s more interesting aspects is its founding team, which includes New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who owns several bars. Vilma cofounded the operation with CEO Andrew Bennett, chief operating officer Richard S Hunter III, and chief technology officer Rob Ruchte.
“BarEye is breaking ground and offering a new way for consumers to buy drinks and interact simultaneously with each other and the bars or venues they are attending,” Vilma said in a statement “I’ve been a bar owner for several years now and seen how quickly people get on their phones to check-in on social networks or text friends after ordering a drink. Now with BarEye, they can open one app to do all of that and order drinks at the same time. They can even buy a drink for a friend as an icebreaker to get them to come hang out.”
Other app makers have also been working to innovate in the bar space. For example, the app TabbedOut and upcoming app Dash both let you pay your bar tab with your phone. I like the idea of all of these apps but their overall reach is limited and depends on bars adopting their technology.